Kingston Council wins library award
The Sector > Provider > General News > Kingston District Council’s library program wins award for early years literacy

Kingston District Council’s library program wins award for early years literacy

by Freya Lucas

June 11, 2024

Kingston District Council’s Literacy Without Barriers Program has won the Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries. 


The Jim Crawford Award celebrates innovative and inspiring services being delivered through South Australia’s public libraries. 


The Literacy Without Barriers Program was developed to tackle declining early literacy levels and a lack of engagement with pre-school programs within the Kingston community, which was made worse by the pandemic, and beat a field of 12 other high-quality initiatives submitted by local governments across the state to be named as the winner during the South Australian 2024 LGA OGM and Conference.


Specifically, the Program involved the creation of book packs – containing stories, activities and guides for parents and carers to read with their pre-school aged children – and encourages vocabulary development and connecting text with the real world. 


For Kingston District Council Mayor, Jeff Pope, the Program was a worthy winner, one which had been incredibly well received since it started.


“Early learning is so important not just for children and families in Kingston, but across the wider state and the fact this program has been so well supported demonstrates this,” Mayor Pope shared with Council Magazine


“Early learning is a focus for our community and aligns to our desire to see the proposed early learning and childcare centre become a reality.”


“We’re very proud to be presented this year’s Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries and hope our program can make a positive, lasting impact to other young children, families, libraries and communities across South Australia.” 


As the winner of the 2024 Jim Crawford Award, Kingston District Council will receive $10,000 to go toward further enhancing their library services, working with their local school in delivery of the school community library. 


South Australian LGA President, Mayor Dean Johnson, congratulated the council on its success and ingenuity in creating the program to address a crucial need within its community. 


“We know libraries are essential to South Australian communities – they’ve evolved far beyond being a place for borrowing books and today play a key role in fostering learning, providing access to technology, and offering diverse programs for people of all ages,” Mayor Johnson said


“Early learning was significantly disrupted during the pandemic and Kingston District Council recognised this impact, acting swiftly to address it.”


“Now, through this innovative program, more children aged five and under in the Kingston area have access to a range of helpful learning materials to continue developing and help prepare them for entering the school system.” 


The Literacy Without Barriers Program was supported through a Local Government Early Childhood Community Innovation Grant, which was funded by the Office for the Early Years within the Department for Education and administered by the LGA for programs which support development in early childhood. 


This story was first published in Council Magazine. Access the original here

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